SkyCity Entertainment Group has announced that the independent review into its suitability to operate its SkyCity Adelaide property has been put on hold, pending the resolution of the civil proceedings filed against it by the Australia’s financial crimes watchdog AUSTRAC.
In a filing today, SkyCity noted that the state’s liquor and gambling commissioner had appointed an independent reviewer in July of 2022 but that the AUSTRAC civil suit was filed in December of the same year.
The review was initially scheduled to be handed in by February 1st of this year, but the commissioner now notes that ‘until the resolution of the Proceedings it is not possible to determine reliably the question of suitability’.
The review is now ‘on hold’ and the commissioner ‘has extended the time for the provision of a written report of the findings of the independent review until after the conclusion of the Proceedings’.
Analysts are estimating that AUSTRAC’s findings of alleged breaches of anti-money laundering laws at the Adelaide property could result in fines of up to $40.62 million, given similar fines imposed on other casino operators.
However, the nature of the alleged wrongdoing is believed to be much less significant than that identified by operators such as Crown and The Star.
AUSTRAC found some 124 cases of failure to do due diligence on punters, 59 instances of customers posing high risk under money laundering legislation and 65 customers that had been allowed to channel money through accounts with SkyCity.